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Thunderbolt is too expensive for anything other than "premium" machines

Acer is shying away from the use of Thunderbolt and will instead focus on USB for future machines. 

According to Acer, Thunderbolt is for more high-end PCs and has become much too expensive. USB, on the other hand, has had a performance boost and offers more bang for their buck. 

"We're really focusing on USB 3.0 -- it's an excellent alternative to Thunderbolt," said Ruth Rosene, Acer spokeswoman. "It's less expensive, offers comparable bandwidth, charging for devices such as mobile phones, and has a large installed base of accessories and peripherals."

Oddly, Acer became the first Windows PC company to use Thunderbolt back in 2012.

Thunderbolt is an ultra-fast communication technology developed by Intel that offers fast 10Gbps data-transfer rates. It was first commercially introduced in Apple's 2011 MacBook Pro, and is ideal for tasks like video editing. 

Intel doesn't seem to be too worried about losing Acer, as many other manufacturers will be releasing "premium systems," which are more ideal for the use of Thunderbolt tech. 

"PC adoption is increasing," said Jason Ziller, director of Intel's Client Connectivity Division. "There are more than a dozen new 4th-generation Intel Core processor-based platforms already launched with Thunderbolt, including from Lenovo, Dell, Asus, and others, with more coming throughout 2013. Thunderbolt is targeted toward premium systems. It is not targeted to be on mid-range or value systems in the next couple of years."

One of these PCs is the Dell One 27, which is an all-in-one (AIO) with a 27-inch screen for a starting price of $2,099 USD. 

Ziller added that the company wants Thunderbolt to be ubiquitous among most PCs in about three to five years. 

However, this could be tough due to the price of Thunderbolt. External hard drives with the technology are much more expensive than USB models, not to mention that Thunderbolt cables cost around $50 USD. 

Back in June, Intel unveiled Thunderbolt 2, which is expected to be available by the end of this year. The second generation uses a new controller chip to merge the uni-directional channels into two 20 Gbps bi-directional channels.  

Source: CNET

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IP costs killing Thunderbolt
By Jammrock on 7/16/2013 9:35:30 AM , Rating: 2
I can see why Thunderbolt is so expensive. It is an external bus that has a merged PCI Express and DisplayPort signal, plus DC power. So each Thunderbolt chip has to license IP for Thunderbolt, DP, PCIe, and whoever owns the patent for DC across a serial cable (because you know someone somewhere does). That's a lot of IP to license for what is currently a niche product.

On top of that Thunderbolt is mainly an Apple interface, which means most Thunderbolt products will pay to be Apple certified, adding more to the cost.

And with USB "3.5" hitting 10Gbps this year or early next, and USB Attached SCSI building momentum, Thunderbolt will be less relevant in the mainstream market.

RE: IP costs killing Thunderbolt
By Ticholo on 7/16/2013 10:07:55 AM , Rating: 2
DP fees should be negligible here, if worth considering at all. PCIe seems to be even less of a burden, from what I can gather.
Don't know how accurate these are, but:

RE: IP costs killing Thunderbolt
By piroroadkill on 7/16/2013 10:51:02 AM , Rating: 2
Isn't DisplayPort specifically royalty-free?

RE: IP costs killing Thunderbolt
By Ticholo on 7/16/2013 12:26:27 PM , Rating: 2
Yeah, I thought so. Went to confirm and it does seem to have some fees, but marginal ones.

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